Energy localisation and frequency analysis in the locust ear

Rob Malkin, Thomas R N Mcdonagh, Natasha Mhatre, Thomas Bligh Scott, Daniel Robert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Animal ears are exquisitely adapted to capture sound energy and perform signal analysis. Studying the ear of the locust, we show how frequency signal analysis can be performed solely by using the structural features of the tympanum. Incident sound waves generate mechanical vibrational waves that travel across the tympanum. These waves shoal in a tsunami like fashion, resulting in energy localisation that focuses vibrations onto the mechanosensory neurons in a frequency dependent manner. Using finite element analysis, we demonstrate that two mechanical properties of the locust tympanum, distributed thickness and tension, are necessary and sufficient to generate frequency-dependent energy localisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2013


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